What I Believe
We had the chance to visit with one of America's most successful long-term investors, and his team, last Thursday and Friday. Ron Baron has stories about famous neighbors, like Donald Trump and Jerry Seinfeld. He has amazing investment stories, like being the first investment analyst to interview Elon Musk, from Tesla. But it's Ron's statements of belief that stick with me a week later.
Buy good managers. Own their companies for a long time. Spend all your time with the managers.
Simple advice, really, for those of us in the business. Reminder, if you will, why 99% of us will not, cannot, be investment managers. And completely different than the advice you might receive from another one of our investment partners next week, if you can still get a seat, at the investment Lunch and Learn on May 16.
More telling, I think, are his actions in alignment with his beliefs. Ron is creating an institution that will last 100 years. In alignment with that, at age 73, Ron just signed a 30-year lease.
To paraphrase, "It's about being consistent for our employees and our clients. They bring in their kids and they look at the fish and they become friends, like family." Shortly thereafter, Ron's presentation was interrupted by his cell phone's song, "Hey Jude!" He stopped, took the call from his wife, Judy, and promised to call her back soon as he was done. I'm sure that he did just that.
He told us that he is most proud of the profits he's made for his clients since he started his first fund in 1987. Indeed, year to date our investments with his firm might be among the highest earners. So I stopped Ron, in the hallway, and thanked him for creating so much value for our clients. And then I thanked him for giving me an idea or three about how to run a company. What a joy, this country! This profession!